The concept of supply chain as a service (SCaaS) has been around for years and is set to change the way businesses manage their inventory and get products to market. There is no doubt that the benefits of SCaaS are significant, from cost savings, the ability to better monitor and manage your inventory, and more. But the question is, are you ready for the change that SCaaS will bring to your business?
What Is SCaaS?
SCaaS, short for supply chain as a service, is the concept of manufacturing or purchasing items in bulk and then storing them off-site until they are needed. It’s similar to the concept of sharing a warehouse with a service business, which is referred to as an assembly line. For example, if you are a manufacturing company, you might purchase large quantities of products from suppliers, then store them in a warehouse until a customer orders them. Then, you’d pick the products up from the warehouse, deliver them to your customer, and get paid for that service. This is what is known as a third-party logistics (3PL) service. In contrast, a business that sells its own products and services would operate a manufacturing facility, such as a manufacturing plant, that produces goods and then stores them until they are sold. This is known as in-house manufacturing (IHM).
What’s Behind SCaaS?
One of the biggest challenges that businesses face is managing their inventory and knowing when to order more inventory. This can be difficult for a business to manage on their own because they have no idea when a customer will order more product or when a big customer will order less product. In the past, businesses had to rely on their staff members to know when to order more product, but that can be a difficult job. This can also be a problem if a customer has a very long sales cycle, which is why retailers like Amazon.com offer much shorter lead times for their products.
SCaaS could be the answer to this dilemma for many businesses. In a typical SCaaS model, a business purchases goods in larger quantities from suppliers, and then stores the goods in a warehouse until they are needed. When a customer orders goods from that warehouse, the goods are loaded onto a truck. The customer then takes possession of the goods and pays for them.
How SCaaS Can Benefit Your Business
Besides the obvious benefit of managing your inventory, purchased goods stored in a warehouse could also benefit your business in other ways. The goods could be stored at a temperature and humidity that will not affect their quality or functionality. The goods could also be stored in a warehouse that has sensors that monitor the temperature and humidity so that the goods are kept at the proper level.
SCaaS also allows you to better manage your assets. When you store goods in a warehouse, you have no idea how long they will be stored for. That is why having a sensor-based system in the warehouse is a smart business practice. That way, you’ll know how long the goods will be in your possession. That will give you more accurate accounting for taxes and expenses for the goods.
SCaaS – Is it Right for Your Needs?
If you have just started out as a small business and you need to store your goods until they are needed, SCaaS could be the answer to your dilemma. However, if you are a larger business that is trying to manage a large inventory, you might be better suited for a different solution. This is because the expenses for SCaaS are much higher than buying goods in bulk and storing them. A comprehensive SCaaS solution from a third-party logistics (3PL) services provider will cost several thousands of dollars per month.
For example, if you were a small business that only stored a few hundred pounds of goods, then SCaaS might be a good fit for you. In that instance, an SCaaS solution from a large 3PL services provider could cost you tens of thousands of dollars per month.
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SCaaS is the latest innovation in manufacturing. Like other 3PL services, SCaaS is a great option for companies that need to store their goods until they are needed. However, SCaaS is not right for all businesses.
Before you decide that SCaaS is right for your business, you should do your research and determine what type of business and what type of goods that you sell. This will help you determine if SCaaS is right for you.